Farm Sues Over Drifted Herbicides

A case brought by a Washington state farm against Ferrosafe, LLC and BNSF Railway Company was removed to the Western District of Washington Tuesday. The underlying complaint alleges that Ferrosafe’s negligent application of herbicide to BNSF’s rail right-of-way damaged its crops.

Sandhu Farms Inc., based in Skagit County, Washington, explained that it had sued Ferrosafe, described as a weed control provider, in 2017 in connection with damages to its crops. That case was resolved with a settlement agreement.

The plaintiffs said that Ferrosafe sprays herbicides containing chemicals such as sulfometuron-methyl, 2,4-D, and triclopyr onto BNSF’s rail corridor, which borders Sandhu’s property. They claim that, on the day they observed the chemicals being sprayed, meteorological data shows that winds were in excess of 10 miles per hour, even though the specimen label for the herbicide in question states that it should not be applied in such conditions.

The plaintiffs are bringing charges of tresspass, nuisance, strict liability, negligence, and breach of contract against Ferrosafe and the railway. They also seek a permanent injunction against the defendants, due to “irreperable and long-lasting” damage to their blueberry crops.

The plaintiffs are represented by Wolf & Lee, LLP and Ferrosafe is represented by Cozen O’Connor. Counsel for BNSF has yet to appear.